So as per the poll yesterday, the winner was Roma. Thanks to all who voted and, @Lert @RipNuN2 @BrushWolf @HellaCopterRescue @bat1159man for voting for Roma!
Pictures were found from google image search and http://blog.livedoor.jp/irootoko_jr/
So without further ado, I present the Italian battleship, Roma.
Roma the last Italian battleship.
Roma, Littorio-class battleship, Regia Marina. Roma, named after the city of Rome, was commissioned on June 14, 1942, with a displacement of 46,215 tons; had a length of 790 ft, a width of 108 ft, a draft of 31 ft, and had a top speed of 30 knots (35 mph/56 kph). She had a range of 4,580 nautical miles at 16 knots (18 mph/30 kph), powered by 8 x Yarrow boilers powering 4 steam turbines turning 4 shafts producing 128,000 shaft horsepower; her complement was 1,920 officers and enlisted. Her armament consisted of 9 x 15 inch 50 caliber Ansaldo M1934 naval guns in 3 triple turrets in an A, B, Y configuration; 12 x 6 inch 55 caliber OTO Melara Model 1936 naval guns in 4 triple turrets mounted abaft the B and Y turrets in wing mounts; 4 x 120mm/40 Model 1891/92 guns in single mounts primarily for illumination rounds; 12 x 90mm 50 caliber Cannone da 90/53 AA guns in single mounts flanking the superstructure; 20 x 37mm 54 caliber Brada AA guns in 8 dual mounts and 4 single mounts; and 20 x 20mm 65 caliber Breda Model 35 AA guns in 10 dual mounts. She had two sisters (One never completed), Littorio (Later renamed Italia), Vittorio Veneto, and her uncompleted sister, Impero.
Roma from the stern, showing her raised Y turret, and her nameplate.
Roma's keel was laid by the Italian shipbuilder Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico on September 18, 1938, and she was launched on June 9, 1940. After just over two years of fitting-out, the new battleship was commissioned into the Regia Marina on June 14, 1942. Roma and her two sisters were moved from Taranto to Naples on November 12 of 1943 to respond to the Allied Invasion of North Africa. While en route the force was attacked by the submarine HMS Umbra, though no hits were scored. On December 4, the US launched a massive air raid to destroy the Italian fleet. Only one cruiser was sunk, and two were damaged, as well as 4 destroyers. After that the three battleships were transferred to La Spezia where Roma was made the flagship of the Regia Marina.
Roma with several guns elevated in various angles.
During her time at La Spezia, the port was attacked many times by Allied bombers. Attacks on April 14 and 19, 1943, did not hit Roma, but an American raid on June 5, severely damaged both Vittorio Veneto and Roma. B-17 aircraft carrying 2,002 lb armor-piercing bombs damaged the stationary battleships with two bombs each. Roma suffered from two near hits on either side of her bow. The starboard-side bomb hit the ship but passed through the side of the hull before exploding. The second bomb missed but exploded in the water near the hull. Roma was damaged again by two bombs in another raid on June 23–24. One hit the ship aft and to starboard of Y turret and obliterated several staterooms, which were promptly flooded from broken piping. The second landed on top of Y turret itself, but little damage was suffered due to the heavy armor in that location. This attack did not seriously damage Roma or cause any flooding, but she nevertheless sailed to Genoa for repairs. Roma reached the city on July 1, and returned to La Spezia, on August 13, once repairs were complete.
A colorized, or true color photo of Roma at low speed.
Roma, Vittorio Veneto, and Littorio (now named Italia) along with many light cruisers and destroyers, sailed for Allied ports on September 9, 1943, for surrender to keep the ships out of German hands. As the Germans launched Operation Achse, Admiral Carlo Bergamini, in command of the fleet, left La Spezia. When the fleet arrived off La Maddalena, German troops had occupied that base to transfer their troops from Sardinia to Corsica, therefore the stop at La Maddalena was cancelled and Supermarina ordered Bergamini to head for Allied-controlled Bone. The fleet then changed course, but when Germany learned that the Italian fleet was sailing towards an Allied base, the Luftwaffe sent Dornier Do 217s armed with Fritz X radio-controlled bombs to attack the ships. These aircraft caught up with the force when it was in the Strait of Bonifacio.
A nice starboard side view of Roma fully painted.
The aircraft trailed the fleet for some time, but the Italian fleet did not open fire upon spotting them. They were trailing so far behind that it was impossible to determine whether the aircraft were Allied, or Axis, and Bergamini believed them to be the air cover promised by the Allies. However an attack upon Italia and Roma at 15:37 called the ships to action, as the AA guns opened fire and the ships began evasive maneuvers. About 15 minutes later, Italia was hit on the starboard side underneath her forward turrets, while Roma was hit on the same side. That bomb passed through and exploded beneath the keel, damaging the hull and allowing water to flood the aft engine room and two boilers. The flooding caused the propellers inner propellers to stop and started electrical fires all over the aft of the ship.
A bow view of Roma under repairs. The main guns look menacingly at the camera.
Losing power and speed, Roma fell behind. Around 16:02, another Fritz X slammed into the starboard side of her deck, penetrating the deck and detonating in the forward engine room and causing heavy flooding in B turret's magazines. Seconds after the first explosion, a second larger one ripped through the ship as the B turret's magazine detonated, throwing the turret out of its barbette and into the sea. This caused catastrophic flooding in the bow and the ship began to go down by the bow and listed more and more to starboard. She quickly capsized and broke in two.. She took 1,253 men down with her out of her 1,849 crew that day.
Roma firing her B turret and secondary turret in practice while at anchor.
Her wreck was discovered in June, 2012. On September 10, 2012, a memorial ceremony described the dead sailors as, "unwitting heroes who found their place in history because they carried out their duty right until the end".
That is all for the history of the ship. The rest of the post will be a few extra pictures of Italy's mightiest ship.
These images are of her when she was docked either for repairs, or for rearming and refueling.
Roma and one of her sisters firing their guns at sea.
That is all folks I hope you enjoyed! The suggestions from the poll have been written down and shall be done in the future. As shall the picture posts.
As always: Fair winds and following seas captains!